About the course
Apprenticeship Standard: Digital & Technology Solutions Professional
Final Award: BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions (Software Engineer)
The Degree Apprenticeship programme in Digital and Technology Solutions at the University of Hertfordshire leads to a BSc (Honours) in Digital and Technology Solutions. The programme is designed upon the Apprenticeship Standard of reference and is constantly reviewed in consultation with local employers and endorsed by TechSkills so as to meet the Standard and Assessment Plan.
Built with an intent to provide learners with the best of both worlds of rigorous academic studies and sound work-based training proper of industry, the programme consists of “core” content taken by all apprentices, which amounts to approximately 70% of the total, and “specialist” content that amounts to the remaining 30%.
Teaching is delivered by means of dedicated modules and sessions, designed and managed to exploit facilities and opportunities available on campus, online and at learners’ place of work.
As a degree apprenticeship, learners are constantly facilitated and encouraged to successfully obtain the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) as identified by the standard, to keep a record of their achievements (by means of an e-portfolio and other resources) and to exploit these along the learning journey of studying for an academic award and towards the occupational competency as expected by the Standard, their employer and the market.
In addition to academic development, the programme also recognises the importance of developing students’ professional and civic character, as articulated through the University’s Graduate Attributes and in reference to British Values.
Each learner is enrolled on a course learning to one of three specialist awards. Each of the specialisms is also introduced as part of the core and, if this is considered, the split is nearer to 60% “core” and 40% “specialism”
- The software engineer role is broader and with higher levels of responsibility than a software developer as they need to apply engineering principles to all stages of the software development process, from requirements, analysis and design, to development and data requirements while ensuring security robustness is built in. They typically work as part of a larger collaborative team and have responsibility for significant elements of software projects.
Other specialisms available are:
Why choose this course?
- The DTS degree apprenticeship programme has been developed to cover topics that aim to not only meet but also exceed the learning outcomes as stated by the Standard and is continuously reviewed with local employers leading its innovation agenda. This is to ensure learners are equipped suitably for exploiting the new opportunities the Digital industry is providing business and society almost daily.
- After five years of offering this programme, it’s challengingness and the extent learners are expected to engage with their learning journey has been fine-tuned, without overburdening them. The programme is highly demanding but is exceptionally rewarding for both learners and employers.
- This programme comprises a coherent blend of modules specially designed to meet the Apprenticeship Standard. The new DTS-specific modules have been adapted from existing tried-and-tested degree programmes, and the specialist modules are co-taught with other students. This academically rigorous programme also supports learners and expects them to fully develop both expertise and proficiency, and the Graduates Attributes.
- This programme delivers a mix of day and block release with work-based learning, designed specifically to meet the needs of apprentices and their employers.
What will I study?
The first year of the course, (Level 4), is the same for all DTS learners. It provides a general and pedagogical foundation with a clear reference to the Standard and an emphasis on content that is relevant to all specialisms offered at UH. Learners are mostly taught through traditional lectures and tutorials about principles of computing and essential facts, theories and technologies relevant to the engineering of digital solutions. A first exposure to principles and practice of work-based learning is supported and encouraged.
At Level 5, which takes two years, there are five core modules taken by all DTS learners and two that depend on the specialism. As apprentices develop professional and study skills, there is an increasing shift towards work-based learning and other forms of independent study. At this level, additional topics and specialist modules are introduced, providing learners with opportunities to gather a deeper understanding of real-world solutions and more advanced features in several domains as well as to validate consolidated and new KSBs through more structured application processes;, both at UH and with their employer.
At Level 6, which can take one or two years, there are three taught core modules taken by everybody, which comprise of two taught specialist modules and a 45 credit, synoptic, specialist project that is, generally carried out in the workplace with support from the University. At this level, significant learning would occur through work-based learning and independent study., However , for Level 4 and 5, teaching and supported practical sessions are still regularly offered all throughout the year. Learners are expected to demonstrate the full achievement of all KSBs into confident professional practices, aiming at developing complex solutions to problems and/or projects of real value to their employer. Evidence for this is eventually provided at the end-point of assessment as the conclusion of their final synoptic project.
Learners will develop the occupational competency for the role of Cyber Security Analyst. Though this role is quite broad and actual job titles may differ. Because of the core plus specialism model, graduates will be equipped for a broad range of careers in related occupations within the Digital Industries such as the IT industry or within IT departments.
In some cases, typical job titles can be different than the specialism. For example, Software Engineer apprentices may go on to take on roles such as Software developer’, ‘Software tester’, ‘Application specialist’, etc. Other job titles, such as IT Support, IT project manager, IT consultant, could also be considered as relevant as far as they include, in their job description, a clear reference to the chosen specialism.